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Posts tagged with "Kyle Shanahan"

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers lost 23-3 to the Carolina Panthers in both teams’ season opener. For head coach Kyle Shanahan, it was his first game as a head coach. He is known as an offensive genius but his offense, which is a work in progress, accomplished very little on Sunday.

Shanahan has a message for the Niner Faithful. He wants you to stick with him and the 49ers and believes things will get turned around. Shanahan was asked how he felt about the number of empty seats at Levi’s Stadium for Sunday’s game.

“I didn’t notice the attendance of anything but I thought the fans were great,” Shanahan said. “Came out early in the game and I thought they were loud. I heard all of them early. I don’t think we gave them much to cheer for in the second half so definitely can’t blame them for that. Definitely want them to stick with us.

“I think this has been a great fan base for a long time. I think it still is. They haven’t had a lot to cheer about recently but I can promise them we’re doing everything we can, working as hard as we can to change that and we’re going to do it as soon as we possibly can.”

The 49ers have another tough opponent coming up. They travel to Seattle, Washington to face the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on Sunday, September 17.

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The anticipated Week 1 of the NFL season finally has arrived. Here are the High five things to watch on this week’s schedule:

Hangover to watch

How the Falcons, who open the season Sunday in Chicago, react to their Super Bowl runner-up, having blown that 25-point lead to the Patriots, will be a compelling topic all season.

Will they rebound with a vengeance, determined to take what they believed was theirs a year ago? Or will they suffer from a hangover affect lingering from that loss?

The Falcons should take a hard look at their division opponents, the Panthers — who went 6-10 last season after going 15-1 in 2015, advancing to Super Bowl 50 only to lose to the Broncos.

Atlanta remains one of the most talented teams in the league, particularly on offense, where they’re led by quarterback Matt Ryan and a stable of terrific receivers, including Julio Jones. But, as many teams have learned the hard way, talent alone is not nearly enough to prosper in the NFL.

And, Ryan will play on now without his offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, who was hired as the 49ers head coach, replaced in Atlanta by Steve Sarkisian.

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KRON

49ers have won six consecutive season openers!

The San Francisco 49ers haven’t lost a season opener since 2010. A 6-31 bashing on the road, to the Seattle Seahawks. Since then, the team has won six consecutive season openers. All this despite playing under three different coaching staffs. However, the question remains, will the streak continue this Sunday?

The team faces many challenges. They will be going up against many mismatches on both sides of the ball. I’ve always been a firm believer in defense wins championships. For that reason, the Niners defense will be a key to watch, as they tackle the Carolina Panthers.

Kelvin Benjamin is the real deal!

One matchup to keep an eye on will be the 49ers cornerbacks lining up in press-man against WR Kelvin Benjamin. At 6-5, 235, Benjamin’s physique alone poses many problems. For one, Benjamin is a former high school basketball star while attending Glades Central. He understands the benefits of boxing out defenders. In basketball it’s all about positioning. You can bet top dollar that Benjamin will be a go-to red zone target.

Gazette.com

He will have no problems boxing out or high-pointing the football against 49ers CB Rashard Robinson or CB Dontae Johnson. You can play nearly perfect coverage on Benjamin, but more times than not, he will still come out on top. He’s that good. A big bodied receiver with great body control when the ball is in the air, Benjamin does not need much separation in order to make an impact.

Benjamin Predicted Stat Line: 6 catches for 90 yards and 1 touchdown

Cam Newton’s ‘Security Blanket’ TE Greg Olsen

Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

However, Benjamin isn’t the only receiver the 49ers need to account for. At 32, Panthers TE Greg Olsen continues to be QB Cam Newton’s security blanket. Last year, Olsen shredded the 49ers defense racking up five catches for 122 yards (24.4) and one touchdown.

That type of production can’t be ignored. Over the years, Newton and Olsen have built a strong rapport with each other. Look for the two to hook-up down the seams, posts, digs, and out routes on Sunday. One way to attack the 49ers Cover-3 scheme is by running down the seams.

What’s the seams? The seams is a location between two defenders causing confusion on their coverage assignment. For example, a tight end will run a post pattern down the seam. Initially the tight end will be covered by a linebacker but once he runs past him, it’s up to the safety behind the linebacker to either help out or disengage.

I have a strong feeling that both Olsen and Benjamin will benefit off the seams on Sunday, especially if the 49ers front four are unable to generate an organic pass-rush.

Olsen Predicted Stat Line: 7 catches for 84 yards and 1 touchdown

Christian McCaffrey provides X-Factor element

If all else fails, the Panthers can toy with their shiny new running back. Rookie first-round pick (No. 8) RB Christian McCaffrey will be used in both the run game and passing attack. His unique skill set provides an x-factor element. If the Panthers can gain early success off the seams and post routes, that will open up wheel routes for McCaffrey.

Should that fail, they can always use him in the slot to create a mismatch with a linebacker. The options are endless. Look for McCaffrey to get his fair share of touches despite playing behind veteran RB Jonathan Stewart.

McCaffrey Predicted Stat Line: Three catches for 37 yards/12 carries for 72 yards and 1 touchdown.

Prediction

Analysis: 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan is an offensive genius. He understands schemes and faced the Panthers twice a year while with the Atlanta Falcons. That should bode well for the Niners. They win a close one 27-23.

5 Bold Predictions

  • 49ers score at least 24 points
  • WR Marquise Goodwin hauls in 50+ yard catch-and-run (possibly for TD)
  • 49ers Defensive Front 7 shows up in first-half. Hold Panthers to less than 50 yards rushing
  • 49ers CBs will be penalized for at least three pass-interference/holding calls
  • LB Reuben Foster will have more tackles than MLB NaVorro Bowman

41-23 (Over/Under) 

Analysis: Vegas line currently sets at 47.5. I think this game will definitely go over. However, I anticipate a defensive struggle in the first half, as the second-half is where points will be scored in a possible shootout. Take the over.

37-27 (ATS)

Analysis: The 49ers and Panthers may engage in a first-half defensive struggle. This is where the second-half comes into play. I predict adjustments will be made on both sidelines. In turn, it will reveal back-and-forth scoring drives with the 49ers ultimately winning a close one. The 49ers are five point underdogs, take the 49ers and the points at home.

Fantasy Football (67/185)

As you know, I select three players who I believe will score on Sunday. Here’s this week’s picks:

RB Carlos Hyde

WR Kelvin Benjamin

TE Greg Olsen

 

 

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett was an unstoppable force during the Super Bowl. His three sack game was truly remarkable. Had Kyle Shanahan not ruined everything, Jarrett might’ve been the Super Bowl MVP. That’s pretty impressive for a second year player teams persistently overlooked when he came out of college.

But despite his successes on the biggest stage, Jarrett is still that humble kid whose nose never leaves the grindstone. Add to that the fact that Quinn seems to think he’s only getting better.(Credit to The Mothership’s Kelsey Conway for the quote. I encourage you to read her entire article.)

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — During a Super Bowl LI press conference this week, Kyle Shanahan talked about Jimmy Garoppolo — a lot.

The current Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator was asked about the quarterbacks in the 2014 NFL Draft. Shanahan indicated his favorites were Derek Carr and Garoppolo.

Once the Super Bowl is over, Shanahan officially becomes the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. His new team will be drafting second, right behind the Browns, and his new team needs a quarterback.

Shanahan was lavish in his praise of Garoppolo, who is currently the New England Patriots’ backup QB. Let’s stop for a moment and consider the situation, starting with why New England would want to trade Garoppolo.

1. Tom Brady is 39, but remains a brilliant quarterback. This season, he threw 28 TD passes compared to only two interceptions. He said he wants to play until he’s 45. He certainly looks capable of at least a few more years.

2. Brady is under contract for three more seasons at about $21 million annually, meaning under control by the Patriots through the 2019 season.

3. Garoppolo will be a free agent after the 2017 season. If the Patriots keep him as Brady’s backup, after the season he probably will be in demand by a lot of teams. His price tag to stay with the Patriots will be high.

4. The Patriots could try to sign him, but that would be like spending for a second starting quarterback. The same if they used the franchise tag on him.

5. The Patriots have another young quarterback. Jacoby Brissett was a rookie in 2016, and the Patriots do like him.

6. Coach Bill Belichick likes to draft quarterbacks and then trade them a few years later. He did that with Matt Cassell and Ryan Mallett.

7. Belichick probably will trade Garoppolo if he can secure a first-round pick — or even a pair of second-round picks. Belichick likes to pile picks over several years in trades. And he likes to draft a quarterback most years.

8. Garoppolo has been in the NFL for three seasons. He didn’t start a game in 2014 and 2015. When Brady was suspended to start this season, Garoppolo played four quarters against Arizona, two against Miami before suffering a strained shoulder. In those six quarters, he was impressive — four TDs, zero interceptions and completed 71 percent of his passes.

9. After those six quarters, Garoppolo threw only four more passes. Once Brady returned, Brady played.

10. After Garoppolo was hurt, Brissett took over. He played 10 quarters in three games without a TD pass or interception. The Patriots played conservatively, running the ball a lot. The rookie from North Carolina State was 34-of-55 passing, 62 percent.

11. With Brissett starting, New England beat Houston 27-0 before losing 16-0 to Buffalo. Brissett’s production was not close to Garoppolo. That’s worth mentioning, because it showed some of Garoppolo’s success was not simply being a part of New England’s offense. He had to make some plays.

12. Brissett suffered a thumb injury in the victory over Houston. He played with a bad hand in the loss to Buffalo — and then had thumb surgery. So it’s not fair to judge him based on the Buffalo game.

13. Belichick likes to maximize his assets. Maybe Garoppolo will be terrific as a starter elsewhere. Or maybe he’ll just be average. Who really knows? That’s part of why Garoppolo’s value is is high — the mystery. If Belichick knew Garoppolo was the next Brady or a star, it’s doubtful he’d make a trade. But who really does know?

WHAT IS SHANAHAN’S GAME?

As the new coach of San Francisco, Shanahan will take over a 2-14 team. Last season, the 49ers opened with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback, then turned to Colin Kaepernick. Like the Browns, they are looking for a starter.

Kaepernick has a $14 million option for 2017, and the 49ers are not expected to pick it up. So he is expected to be elsewhere in 2017.

I wonder if Shanahan really likes Garoppolo as much as he claims. Perhaps he does. But as the coach of a team looking for a quarterback, it would seem the 49ers would be in the market for Garoppolo.

A coach sounding in football love with Garoppolo would make the price even higher. Or perhaps, Shanahan likes Garoppolo, but doesn’t want to trade for him. Perhaps he plans to simply draft what he considers the best quarterback available at No. 2.

To obtain Garoppolo, he’d have to trade picks and then sign him to an lucrative contract extension.

He also may believe the Browns won’t pick a quarterback at No. 1. That would set up the 49ers to take their preferred choice.

ABOUT SHANAHAN AND THE BROWNS

There have been so many turning points in the Browns franchise since 1999, virtually all leading to dead ends.

But a big one was the 2014 draft. That’s where the Browns did more than pick Johnny Manziel over quarterbacks such as Derek Carr, Teddy Bridgewater and Garoppolo. They also wasted the No. 8 pick on defensive back Justin Gilbert, who couldn’t get on the field for long with the Browns (2014-15) or Steelers (2016).

Ray Farmer had become the general manager. The Browns opened the 2014 season at 7-4. But Farmer was breaking NFL rules by texting people on the sidelines. The draft was a mess.

Manziel made everyone’s life miserable. The Browns lost their last five games. Manziel, Gilbert and Josh Gordon were basically suspended for the final game of the season for various transgressions.

At the end of the season, Shanahan put together a 32-point memo for head coach Mike Pettine. Those were the reasons Shanahan wanted out. It was the texting, the conflict between the front offices and coaches … and having to coach players such as Manziel.

Shanahan has long wanted to be a head coach. He knew that wasn’t going to happen in Cleveland. So he tried to get out of his contract, and the Browns allowed him to leave.

Shanahan wisely hooked up with Atlanta and quarterback Matt Ryan. Two years later, he is the coach of the 49ers. Had he remained in Cleveland, he probably would have been fired with all the other Browns coaches after the 2015 season.

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The 49ers were willing to be patient in securing their next head coach.

Depending on the outcome of the Atlanta Falcons’ game Sunday against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game, they could be required to wait another two weeks.

The other five organizations with vacancies after the regular season have filled their head-coach positions with four assistants from teams that did not qualify for the playoffs and former Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, whom the Denver Broncos hired after his team was bounced in the AFC wild-card round.

Early in the 49ers’ search to replace Chip Kelly, the top targets appeared to be Josh McDaniels and Kyle Shanahan, the offensive coordinators for two of the top-three scoring teams in the NFL.

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Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is expected to become the San Francisco 49ers’ next head coach, according to NFL Network’s Michael Silver.

According to sources familiar with both parties, it is almost certain that Shanahan will accept the 49ers’ multiyear offer, per Silver. If he does accept, Silver added, Packers director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst is the favorite for general-manager duties — followed by Vikings assistant GM George Paton and Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf.

The 49ers’ interest in Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable was real, according to Silver. Owner Denise DeBartolo York interviewed him on the phone Tuesday for an hour. Among the GM candidates who told Jed York they wanted Cable as head coach were Trent Kirchner, Scott Fitterer and Chris Ballard (who declined to interview). Kirchner and Cable pulled out because they became convinced that the 49ers had informally offered Shanahan the job and that he planned to accept, per Silver.

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DENVER — After recharging the batteries on Friday night, the Broncos coaching search shifted into high gear on Saturday. The Broncos interviewed Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Shanahan ranks among the league’s hottest head coaching candidates and his connection to the Broncos remains intriguing to fans.

Shanahan once served as a Broncos ball boy in the city where his father, Mike, won the franchise’s first two Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998. The idea of following in his famous dad’s footsteps has not swayed Kyle. He is aiming to land the Broncos’ job, according to NFL sources, even as he has interviews scheduled with the Rams (Saturday), Jaguars and 49ers.

“We spent the morning with Kyle Shanahan in Atlanta. He’s a very bright coach who’s had a tremendous year and has a great future,” tweeted Broncos general manager John Elway, who is spearheading the five-person search committee.

Shanahan’s resume screams he’s ready. He’s served as an offensive coordinator for eight years for four different teams: Houston, Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta. He coached quarterbacks with differing skillsets, working with Matt Schaub, Robert Griffin III, Johnny Manziel and Matt Ryan. The development of first-round pick Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian, who went 8-6 as a first-year starter, figures to be a critical component for the new coach.

Ryan ranks as the frontrunner for NFL MVP honors this season, throwing for 38 touchdowns with seven interceptions.

The Falcons lead the NFL in scoring at 33.5 point per game. No other team averages 30 points. So what would prevent another Shanahan from leading the Broncos? He is competing against multiple strong candidates, most notably Miami defensive coordinator Vance Joseph. Joseph interviewed well two years ago with the Broncos.

Shanahan also has to deal with past history. The Broncos interviewed Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub for four hours on Friday in Kansas City, impressed with his knowledge and character. He has been highly recommended by Chiefs coach Andy Reid, even if it means he works in the division. Toub will also interview with the Chargers.

The Broncos fired Kyle’s father Mike Shanahan in 2008 after a 14-year run. Broncos owner Pat Bowlen made the change, but current president Joe Ellis was in place when it happened. Shanahan’s control of football operations prevented any meaningful role for Elway after his retirement. Elway ended up learning the business by running the Colorado Crush, an arena football league team. All parties have, by all accounts, a professional relationship. It might not matter if Kyle, as expected, told the Broncos he was prepared to run the show without his father’s involvement. Kyle’s experience suggests he’s prepared for the next step. And it does not require reading between the lines to see Shanahan wants the job based on last Thursday’s meeting with the press.

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — With Gary Kubiak’s departure, Denver Broncosexecutive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway will begin his third search for a head coach.

Kubiak told players after Sunday’s 24-6 victory over the Oakland Raiders that he will retire after two seasons as head coach. Kubiak led the team to a Super Bowl victory last season but will step away for health reasons.

In 2011, Elway needed to rebuild after a 4-12 finish, and he hired John Fox. After four division titles, a 35-point loss in the Super Bowl to close out 2013 and a lackluster playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts to end the 2014 season, Elway replaced Fox with Kubiak.

This time around, Elway will search for a coach to fix a struggling offense with two young quarterbacks who still have ground to cover on the learning curve.

The Broncos’ defense, with Von Miller signed long-term, and those two young quarterbacks will be the attractions for head-coaching candidates. Trevor Siemian, who turned 25 this past week, topped 3,000 yards passing, and rookiePaxton Lynch was the Broncos’ first-round pick this past April.

The Broncos’ list of candidates is expected to include some familiar names. It certainly should include Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who runs a similar scheme to Kubiak’s with the Falcons.

Shanahan’s father, Mike, led the Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl wins during his 14-year tenure with the team. Kyle played high school football in suburban Denver and was a fixture around the team in his youth. He also is calling plays for the league’s most productive offense, as the Falcons are scoring 33.5 points per game. They are the only team in the league that is averaging more than 30 points a game.

Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell also runs a version of the West Coast offense and is expected to be under consideration, as would be Seattle defensive coordinator Kris Richard.

Two other defensive coordinators — Miami’s Vance Joseph and Detroit’s Teryl Austin — whom the Broncos have considered as head-coaching candidates in the past likely would again be in the search. Joseph interviewed for the job before Kubiak was hired by the Broncos in 2015, and Austin declined an interview days before Kubiak was introduced.

Another name to watch, given that he is a former Broncos assistant who is now one of the league’s hotter candidates, is Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter. Cooter was on the Broncos’ staff when Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase was Denver’s offensive coordinator.

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